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Bynum might not return before regular season ends; Jackson not happy about being fined

April 6, 2010 |  2:24 pm

The Lakers continue to fly in a holding pattern around Andrew Bynum, their starting center out for the foreseeable future while still feeling pain because of a strained left Achilles' tendon.

Things are "about the same" Bynum said in a brief interview Tuesday as he left the Lakers' training facility in El Segundo.

The Lakers have five regular-season games left before playoffs begin.

"There's discomfort after he does a certain amount of exercise," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said after Tuesday's practice. "I'm just not holding my breath on a timetable. Obviously we'd like to have him play a couple games at the end of the [regular] season, but this morning I told him if that's not possible, we'll take whatever we can get in the playoffs at that time."

Bynum has missed eight games with the injury, the Lakers going 4-4 without him.

Jackson knew more about his financial future after the NBA hit him with a $35,000 fine Monday for criticizing referee Bennett Salvatore.

"I highly endorse it," Jackson said sarcastically. "I think it's a wonderful thing to do. There's nothing to appeal."

Jackson wasn't thrilled that Salvatore gave Kobe Bryant a technical foul while the Lakers guard mildly disputed a foul call on Ron Artest in the second quarter Sunday against San Antonio.

"Didn't look like Kobe berated him at all," Jackson said after the game. "But with Bennett, you don't know what you're going to get."

-- Mike Bresnahan